10th Circuit upholds immunity for tribal business
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on November 17 ruled that a business of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma enjoys sovereign immunity.

The 23-page decision said Seneca-Cayuga Tobacco is an arm of the tribal government. "As sovereign powers, federally recognized Indian tribes possess immunity from suit in federal court," the court said.

Native American Distributing, the plaintiff in the case, argued that Seneca-Cayuga Tobacco was covered by a waiver of immunity related to the tribe's business activities. But the court said the tribe created the company as a governmental unit.

Get the Story:
Ruling may affect tribes here (The Tulsa World 11/24)

10th Circuit Decision:
Native American Distributing v. Seneca-Cayuga Tobacco Co. (November 17, 2008)

Briefs and More:
Turtle Talk

Related Stories:
9th Circuit backs immunity for tribal businesses (11/20)